R32 GTR or NSX

There is a place in the wilds of Essex where RB26 dreams can come true. Actually, there are quite a few places in the wilds of Essex where this is true, but the one we’re talking about is all about selling tidy examples of Nissan’s finest. Just check out some of these…

 

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But for all the GTR goodness (including JUN Super Lemon – the awesome yellow R33) there’s one car that might deviate prospective buyers aways from RB power…

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It might miss out on all out performance to the boxy Nissans, but this Honda NSX with full Japanese touring car style kit is a thing of beauty. And with the Ayrton Senna link, it just becomes cooler. But, which would you choose?

DUBAI GRAND PARADE

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Throughout the Friday of the show there was something pretty cool going on outside. Around 500 invited or specially selected cars were taking part in the Dubai Grand Parade, running a huge loop from downtown Dubai upto the Burj Al Arab and then back to the convention centre. Whether there were points that the whole parade, led by Dubai Police supercars, were actually all together we don’t know. But we did manage to pap this eclectic mix of automobilia as we left the show…which was spectacle enough. Maybe not quite the buzz of watching SEMA show exhibit cars leaving the Las Vegas Convention Center, but pretty darn cool for Dubai.

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DUBAI MOTOR SHOW Pt3

It’s not all concept and hyper cars at Dubai Motor Show…there’s plenty of just normal old supercars and sports cars too. Nissan’s GT-R seemed to be popular with some unusual characters, such as the Dubai Police…

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…and Usain Bolt. No wonder this edition is wrapped in gold!

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Following on from concept pictures of a four-door GT-86 from Toyota, it’s pretty sweet to see the convertible version in the metal. How would that look with full Rocket Bunny makeover?

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Whether AMG, Brabus or any other tuner of Mercedes-Benz models, there’s something seriously hard about a modified Merc. For some reason, they’re not always the number one choice for driving purists, but just looking at these and you can hear one of those incredible sounding V8s burbling away…even when they’re turned off. Sleek style and beautiful engines, that’s the name of the game.

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This Merc might find fans with the driving snobs though…

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Meanwhile, their German rivals continue to do what they do best. New Porsche Turbo and 911 GT3…you probably don’t even need to know any more than that.

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Or an ‘M’ prefix in front of a BMW model, in this case the 6.

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The new 4-series up close. M4 could be a winner.

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Although there’s still life in the 3-series yet!

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An ‘RS’ badge in front of an Audi model is never a bad thing either. The new RS6, in this matte grey, was probably one of the toughest looking cars in the whole show.

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There were some Ferraris too…in red.

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Old habits die hard, so we couldn’t help putting some Ford pics in. The new EcoSport is quite a funky little car, and if they bring out an AWD version it would be even cooler.

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Almost as cool as seeing a Focus ST in amongst all the high priced performance cars…a hatchback that can deliver just as many, if not more, thrills than some of the super-performance machinery on show – especially if you’re intending to use it everyday.

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Scattered around the show were a few racers, which is always a pleasant sight. From 1960s F1 to LeMans winners the scope covered was pretty broad. But for us, the Hyundai i20 WRC car would be the weapon of choice. How tough does that look!

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DUBAI MOTOR SHOW Pt2

While there were a fair few radical concepts on show, or cool pre-production models, the S-Class Coupe Concept certainly stood out. It doesn’t look that far away from being a genuine contender for production and would certainly make the roads a prettier place. Elsewhere, BMW’s i8 sports car made its way to Dubai (apparently it goes on sale next year), Infiniti stuck an interesting sporty coupe concept on the corner of their stand and Hyundai went all classy with the HCD-14. Shame we couldn’t get closer for snaps as the interior was a real work of art. Brabus also showed their concept of what the Mercedes G63 AMG 6×6 could be like. ‘Tough’ would appear to be the direction they were heading with that.

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DUBAI MOTOR SHOW

With SEMA happening/just happened over in Las Vegas – quite possibly the greatest car show on earth for those with a penchant for tuning – anything else just seems, well, like second place. Still, it didn’t stop us from trying to at least consolidate ourselves with some kind of motor show; in this case the Duabi International Motor Show.

Naturally there was a glut of Ferraris and Bugattis (more about those in another post). There was also a section of the show devoted to automakers like Chery and JAC – cheap Asian motors that look like ugly rip-offs of European and Japanese vehicles – which we can’t be bothered to cover here. Much like they can’t be bothered to come up with their own designs. It’s far better to concentrate here on the smaller companies doing incredible things or the big companies who were getting a bit wild. The GT-86 below a prime example of the latter; a Toyota backed drifter for the Emirates Drift Team.

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Jaguar’s Project 7 concept car is also exactly the type of thing we can appreciate:

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What might be the speed-blur ‘car of the show’ though is the Hennessey Venom GT. Based on a Lotus Exige, they’ve shoe-horned a Viper V10 engine in the back and strapped on two massive turbos for good measure. The result: 265.7mph before it ran out of road.

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Something that’s claiming more impressive stats though is the Dubai-backed Devel Sixteen. Looking pretty spectacular (think Zonda meets Batman…meets Top Gun) the producers claim it will produce 5,000bhp from the 16 cylinder engine and achieve almost 350mph. It’s a nice story at least. Dubai may have built the tallest building in the world but even with all the dollars they could throw at this, it would be a serious turnout for the books if they ever release a version capable of that… especially if they intend on it being road legal.

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Another company from the Middle East is W Motors who have the cool-looking Lykan HyperSport and freshly launched SuperSport (the blue one). The HyperSport has a 750bhp 3.8-litre flat 6 Boxer engine and hits 62mph in 2.8secs apparently. Probably sounds pretty special too.

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The Danes are getting in on the act too with the Zenvo ST1. It’s been around for a while, but the first time we’ve seen one of the 1100bhp hypercars in the metal…perhaps because this may have been its world debut (although we’re not sure about that). Apparently only 15 are scheduled to be made, two of which have been sold already.

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Hell, even the Spanish are having a go at the hypercar market with the Spania GTA Spano – rocking an 8-litre V10 with over 900bhp and a similar number for torque – it’s a very decent looking car.

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While most of these cars seem to be the stuff computer games are made of and the likelihood of seeing one on the streets seems remote at best, could it be that the UAE is the perfect place to showcase them. If anywhere has the money (and fuel to feed them) it’s the UAE…and Iit wouldn’t be a bad thing if the roads are filled with these rather than white Toyota Landcruisers, that’s for sure.

THINKING INSIDE THE BOX

There was a time when cars looked like cars, the kind of car you’d draw as a kid – upright grille, bonnet, square roofline and bootlid. Simple but effective. Ok, so you might progress to sketching something a little more Ferrari-looking over time, but those early renderings often had distinctive box-like proportions.

And rightly so. Sometimes it feels a bit wrong to like a boxy car – if you’ve ever looked at a Volvo T5 admiringly then you know what that feels like. But there’s a simple beauty in boxy cars, that even a child recognises. ┬áIn fact, some rare and iconic cars flew against the desire for aerodynamic beauty, like the Lancia Integrale or Audi Quattro… and try finding a car fan who doesn’t use the words ‘stunning’ or ‘beautiful’ when describing them.

Yet, despite people swooning over curvy lines or only admitting a love of boxiness when faced with the vaunted heroes of boxiness (where only the ultimate models made a real impact on the world), there are two everyday heroes that define square proportions like no other; the BMW E30 3-series and the Mercedes 190e.

While they both had their ‘hero’ models, the E30 M3 and the Mercedes 190e Evolution…

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…and they both had a bit of a ‘track record’…

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…which of these cars that thought inside the box is cooler? Not just the wild Evolution models, but as a range from cooking-spec models upwards?

The BMW E30 3-series:

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or the Mercedes 190e:

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Both offered rear wheel drive and that certain austere flare that German cars had in the 1980s/ early 90s. They’ve both been driven by people from all walks of life and offered estate versions for the family man. And in the tuning world, the less exotic spec versions of each model have been given some incredible makeovers.

So, if you had to pick the greatest box-like car from between the two models, considering their top spec models and motorsport heritage right down to their base versions and the modifications people have done to them; which one is cooler?

GUILTY PLEASURE #8

WHAT?: Roof racks on cool cars

WHY THE GUILT?: Ever seen a car driving around the UK in summer with ski holders on their roof rack? That’s just plain daft, unless of course they’ve snapped up a season pass to the local dry ski slope. It’s just posing and that’s about it. As for aerodynamics, roof racks have got to be up there with truck wing mirrors in the drag factor, which means a kick in the teeth for fuel economy. Basically, they can just seem a bit pointless.

WHERE’S THE PLEASURE?: On the other hand though, roof racks do suggest adventure. Whether it’s used to carry track day wheels and tyres, a surfboard, camping gear or a bike, the stuff carried on a roof generally points to good times. When it’s carried on the roof of a cool car then it just looks like you’ll be having a blast on the way to and from those good times too. Plus, you can always take a roof rack off.

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